Jeremy Waisome, Ph. D., a postdoctoral associate from the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), has been selected as this year’s honoree to receive the Golden Torch Award for Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year (Female) 2017-2018. The National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) ceremony takes place this March 24, 2018 during the organization’s 44th national convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Golden Torch Award is a NSBE scholarship presented to members who qualify in areas of academic excellence, development of leadership skills and community involvement through participation in NSBE programs and other activities.
Waisome’s early passion for math and science honed her leadership initiative. While attending Edgewater High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics magnet program, she helped an all-girl Try-Math-A-Lon team win a countryside competition, and gained a scholarship which allowed her to attend her first NSBE conference. The following year, Waisome became president of her local high school NSBE junior chapter. While attending the University of Florida, she served as president and advisor of the NSBE Gator chapter, as well as the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering’s leadership honorary.
“She has demonstrated leadership for years as a Florida Gator! She created the grad NSBE chapter at the University of Florida, and she has mentored numerous students along the way,” said Juan Gilbert, The Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair, and Chair of CISE.
“As someone who has been a member of NSBE since high school, winning this award is truly a dream come true. I can think of several other qualified members who have dedicated their time and energy to NSBE, many of whom invested in my life. I’m forever grateful to them for that. I do not consider this achievement to be just mine. It is a testament to the many mentors, friends and colleagues who encouraged me to persist through the trials of achieving my academic goals,” Waisome said.
Each year, NSBE’s Golden Torch Awards honors individuals, companies, and institutions that have advanced opportunities for African Americans in the engineering field. From serving as role models for others to producing consistent, highly distinguished bodies of work, the Golden Torch Awards serve to recognize accomplishments that have enriched engineers and the world with intelligence, talent and vision.
Waisome hopes that receiving the Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year Award will help inspire the many students she encounters in her academic career to follow the tenets of NSBE to excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
“I hope my example will encourage them to go on to have successful careers in engineering and beyond,” said Waisome.
She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate and Project Manager of the National Science Foundation-funded Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance, as part of the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences.
“My research within CISE is focused on broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computing (STEM+C),” said Waisome. Her passion for developing activities that broaden participation in STEM+C has led her to develop programs nationwide focusing on cultivating the interests of underrepresented students pursuing their goals in engineering and computing.
“The NSBE Golden Torch Awards are very prestigious. For the college and CISE, this an acknowledgment of our excellence in diversity and mentoring,” said Gilbert.
Waisome, who has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida, is the second honoree to receive the distinction in the Female category.